FOOD

14 Things You Should Absolutely Never Order At A Restaurant

by Shellie Renee'

If we’re being totally honest, most of us don’t usually do our homework when it comes to the restaurants that we frequent. If we like the menu and the price is right, that’s all we need to know.

But is it really?

When we decide to sit down at a table and order our favorite cuisine, we’re actually putting a ton of trust into the management and staff of the restaurants that we go to — but most of us don’t think about that very much.

Keeping all this in mind, before you decide to eat out this week, take a moment to research the restaurant you’re going to. Not only will it make you look at (some of) your favorite places differently, but it just might make you rethink cooking at home a little bit more, too.

And if you do go out to eat, remember to never order the following items!

1. Drinks With Free Refills

women enjoying a meal
Joy - Sujintana Kansakarn for RockYou

If you’re planning on drinking nothing but water or coffee, this point won’t apply (although when it comes to water, you might want to ask management about the last time they cleaned out the ice machine — just sayin’).

But if you’re planning on having several refills of your favorite soda or fruit juice, just remember that many of those beverages run 120 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. That means two of ‘em are 240 to 300 calories. That’s a lot of sugar.

If you do decide to take your server up on the free refills offer, at least alternate each glass of soda or juice with a glass of water.

2. Lemon With Water

lemon water
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In just a second, we promise that you’ll never look at a lemon wedge the same. Did you know that, according to one study, 70% of restaurant-served lemon wedges were covered in bacteria, sometimes even fecal matter?

If you didn’t see the bartender or server wash and cut the lemon wedges in front of you, opt out of having them with your drink.

3. Bread With Olive Oil

bread and olive oil
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Yes, olive oil comes with several health benefits; it’s loaded with healthy fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. You know what else it’s got a lot of? Calories. Two tablespoons equates to around 240 calories! So if you like to soak your bread in olive oil, this might be something else to take a pass on.

4. Diet Soda

diet soda
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If you’re someone who orders diet soda all of the time because you’ve told yourself that it’s better to drink it than regular soda, you might want to rethink this position.

Between the artificial sweeteners, chemical ingredients, and the fact that diet soda can actually throw off your blood sugar levels, at the end of the day, there’s not too much “good” about it.

5. Raw Oysters

a plate of oysters
Joy - Sujintana Kansakarn for RockYou

Have you ever wondered where hepatitis A comes from? It comes from the virus with the same name. Guess what some of its sources are. Uncooked foods, contaminated water, and — yep, you guessed it — raw or undercooked shellfish that came from contaminated water.

This isn’t to say that all raw oysters are bad. We’re just saying that if you decide to order them at a restaurant, you truly are eating at your own risk.

6. A Large Popcorn

a bucket of popcorn
Joy - Sujintana Kansakarn for RockYou

There’s a bigger chance that you’ll consider ordering this at a movie theater instead of a restaurant, but the calorie count is so high that it has to be on this list.

Keeping in mind that most men need 2,500 calories a day and most women need 2,000, guess how many calories are in a large tub of popcorn: a whopping 1,200!

Sure, popcorn tastes good. But not good enough to consume more than half of your daily caloric intake while watching one movie.

7. Creamy Soup

a woman eating soup
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There’s nothing better than a thick and creamy soup, especially in during fall and winter. Unfortunately, creamy soup has more calories than broth-based soups.

So if you think a soup-and-salad combo is a light meal, it all depends on what kind of soup you get (and the kind of toppings and salad dressing on your salad).

8. A Value Meal

a value meal
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From a financial standpoint, value meals might save you a buck or two. But remember that a bigger order of fries or a bigger soda means that you are taking in even more calories.

According to CalorieKing, a large order of fries (fried in oil) is 531 calories. And a large soda? 350 calories. That’s almost 1,000 calories just for fries and a drink alone!

9. Green Smoothies

a green smoothie
Joy - Sujintana Kansakarn for RockYou

You would think that having a smoothie is one of the healthiest things you could eat, right? Well, it kind of depends.

If your smoothie is made out of nothing but frozen fruits and veggies, it’s probably pretty healthy. If you have a green smoothie that has a lot of fat and sugar in it, however, that could mean that you’re consuming enough calories for an entire meal.

Moral of the story? If you’re a smoothie lover, you might want to make them at home.

10. Chips and Salsa

chips and salsa
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For the most part, tortilla chips and salsa are a good snack to have, as long as you eat both in moderation. The problem is you don’t how long both of them have been sitting out in the back. Anything that isn’t properly stored is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Before you help yourself to this combo, it’s perfectly fine to ask the server for a fresh batch of both. You can even ask the manager how both are stored if you need additional peace of mind.

11. A Medium-Rare Burger

a burger
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We all have our preferences for how we want our burgers to be cooked. But when you ask for one that is medium rare, the challenge is that it might be undercooked. When that happens, your beef could turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why burgers sometimes are considered to be “dangerous” summertime foods.

How can you know if your meat is properly prepared? Make sure that it’s cooked to a temperature that is no less than 160 degrees F. That significantly decreases the threat of E. coli.

12. A Well-Done Steak

a well-done steak
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According to an article that went behind the scenes with restaurant workers, one of the worst things to order at a restaurant is a well-done steak. Why? Apparently when you order a well-done piece of meat, the chefs will often pick the oldest meat they have, since they think they can mask it by cooking it more.

13. Chicken Dishes

a chicken dish
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If you want to keep a few extra dollars in your pocket, don’t order a chicken entrée. According to chefs themselves, chicken is one of the most overpriced items on most restaurant menus. Chicken entrées also tend to include a really large chicken breast, which could tempt you to eat more than you really want to.

14. A Doggie Bag

a doggie bag
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Getting a doggie bag when you can’t finish your meal sounds like a good idea. For the most part, it is. But unless you’re planning on going straight home after dinner, you shouldn’t take any food to go.

Cooked foods shouldn’t sit at room temperature for longer than two hours. After that amount of time, you’ve got a doggie bag full of bacteria waiting for you.

If you can’t get your meal to a refrigerator in an hour, leave the rest of your food on the table.